WASHINGTON – Capitol Hill lawmakers are pushing a new bill that would make it easier for spouses of military members to buy guns when they move to another state.
South Dakota Republican Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune introduced legislation last Thursday that would expand a current carve-out for military members who want to purchase a handgun.
Under the law, most citizens cannot buy handguns outside their home state. There is an exception for members of the military but it had not been extended to their spouses.
“Our men and women in uniform – and their families – make incredible sacrifices to keep our country safe; allowing them to keep their families safe is the least we can do,” Rounds said in a written statement.
The bill would allow the husband or wife of a military member to buy a gun in the state where their active-duty spouse is permanently stationed. The legislation also allows spouses to buy handguns in neighboring states if the spouse lives in one state but travels for work to another.
“We should be doing all we can to make life safer and easier for these military families who sacrifice a great deal for America,” Thune said. “Our service members and their families should not have to forfeit any of their rights in order to protect ours.”
The Military Times, which first reported on the bill, notes the legislation doesn’t apply to spouses who live on a military base.
“If the spouse lives on base, they are under the rules set by the base commander,” a spokeswoman for Rounds’ office told Military Times. “Bases still have to follow local and state laws in this regard.”
Similar legislation was introduced in the House earlier this year by Rep. Scott Rigell, R-Va.